June 28, 2021 5 min read

I’m excited that Pear & Simple’s online business is growing and helping us connect with wonderful new customers all over Wisconsin and beyond. But, our love for Port Washington and the community where we’ve built our business is as strong as ever. Anyone who has lived in or visited our lakeside city knows there issomething special about it. It’s a unique place with scenic beauty and charm matched by amazing people and businesses that make up its community. 

Our store’s roots are here in Port Washington, and there’s nowhere else we’d rather be! Today, we’re sharing six reasons we love being a Port Washington small business.

1. Our Amazing Community

They say, “who you surround yourself with who is you become.” If that’s the case, I know I opened Pear & Simple in the right place! Our Port Washington community is made up of truly incredible people committed to their neighbors’ health and well-being. One of my favorite parts of being located right on N. Franklin St. is how many friendly and familiar faces I get to see every day as they stop in to shop or just say hi.

As a Port Washington small business, we’re also beyond lucky to be surrounded by inspiring business owners. We’re part of a business community full of people who set a great example of what partnership can be. Working, learning, and growing alongside them is such a pleasure – Really, it’s an honor!

2. A Postcard-Worthy City

You know those Hallmark movie towns? The ones that seem so impossibly charming and inviting on screen? Well, if you've been to Port Washington, you know it's like you've stepped through the screen and onto a movie set. Our stunning harbor,lighthouse, and tons of scenic greenery create a beautiful backdrop for our bustling community. 

While plenty of visitors love coming into town for shopping, dining, and enjoying time on the lake, Port Washington is the perfect place to call home. Living in Port Washington gives us the best of both worlds: it’s small and welcoming enough that it maintains its quaint, little town-feel, but there is a fabulous mix of restored buildings and new developments that allow our community to keep growing.

As a Port Washington small business owner, I appreciate that we’re in a city where it often feels like you know everybody’s name, but where there are always new and exciting things happening around us! 

A twilight shot of downtown Port Washington shows scenic buildings lining the street and a chapel and trees in the distance.

3. Activities for Everyone

Though we’re just 30 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Milwaukee, there are more than enough activities in Port Washington to keep you busy!

For nature lovers, exploring Port Washington’s North and South Beaches, Lion’s Den Gorge, or biking are awesome ways to take advantage of the city’s beauty. And, living near the lake definitely has its perks: There are all sorts of water sports and activities to try right in our backyard. From fishing in the harbor or out on charter boats to sailing, surfing, and paddleboarding, you can never run out of things to do on the water. 

Lake life is such a big part of being a Port Washington small business that we carry aspecial collection of items just for our fellow lake lovers at Pear & Simple! 

Port Washington has many fun things to do for families, especially those of us with young kids! Our all-inclusive playground,Possibility Playground, is universally accessible so every child can enjoy its wonders. Plus, adventurous kids and adults alike can zip around thePort Washington Bike and Skate Park to their heart’s content - This little gem is Leena & Cody’s personal favorite!

As for my family, we have a blast spending hot summer days splashing aroundPirates’ Hollow Waterpark. And on chilly winter afternoons, you can find us skating at the winter ice rink inVeteran’s Park

4. Down-to-Earth Dining

I can’t talk about all of the reasons I love having a Port Washington small business without talking aboutour restaurants. Our city has an excellent mix of dining options that check off every box when it comes to quality, cuisines, and restaurant environments.

The best part? Our dining options are so wonderfully welcoming that, while many Port Washington restaurants definitely deserve five stars, they don’t take themselves too seriously. It goes back to the type of people and businesses that make up our community: Anywhere you go, you are sure to have a great experience with great people.

From spots likeFork & Tap,Twisted Willow andTello’s Grill and Cafe to thePasta Shoppe andYummy Bones BBQ, you really can’t go wrong anywhere you might step out to eat in our city.

5. The Best Customers From Near and Far

Our customers are the heart of Pear & Simple. Our friends and neighbors in Port Washington show up each and every day to support us and it’s so incredibly special that we get to be part of special moments in their lives. We just love helping them celebrate all of their occasions, big and small, withdelightful gifts

It’s also a lot of fun to meet new smiling faces as people pop in during a visit to the city, or who are just passing through. Port Washington is a favorite stop for folks headed to and from Door County, and it’s such a treat to hear how much they love pulling over in our city. Many are from Illinois or SouthwestWisconsin. We enjoy hearing about where they’re coming from, where they’re going, and being part of their visit to Port Washington.

6. Port Washington is My Home

Owning a Port Washington small business is extra special for me because I’ve built a business in the city where I grew up! I spent a few years away when I went to college in Indiana (Boiler Up!), but my heart was here. After school, I came home and married my high school sweetheart!

Pear & Simple owner Melissa Suddendorf enjoys time on Lake Michigan in Port Washington as a child. Now a Port Washington small business owner, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family in her hometown.


I’ve worn a few hats as a member of Port Washington’s community over the years. In my 20s, I served as president of our Main Street Board and was later the co-chair of the inaugural capital campaign for The Port Exploreum during its inception (2013-2014). I was also a realtor for eight years before starting my own business. Living and working in the city has given me a huge appreciation for just how unique Port Washington is!

In my pre-motherhood years, I coached youth and high school soccer. Now, I have two girls, Cody (9) and Leena (11). There is no better place to raise a family and run a business than Port Washington. As a parent and business owner, I’m so grateful to be part of a fantastic community! 

Are you a Port Washington neighbor or frequent visitor? Head to thePort Washington corner of our online shop to get gifts, gear, and accessories in honor of our city. Or, stop by our store in person! We are located at314 N Franklin St.